Dow, S&P 500 End Week at Record Highs

Upbeat GDP data pushes markets north

by 12/20/2013 4:21:41 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

"In the end, a nice week ended on a strong note," opined Schaeffer's Senior Technical Strategist Ryan Detrick, CMT. "The two-week losing streak is a thing of the past, as the S&P 500 Index (SPX) gained more than 2% on the week. In fact, the SPX and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) both closed at new all-time highs. Then, under the surface, small-caps had a huge day, and the Russell 2000 Index (RUT) finished at a record peak, as well. All in all, with the Fed out of the way, seasonality could take over, and more strength to end this very bullish year could be in the cards."

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • A record peak for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) prompted one group of bulls to bet on even higher highs.
  • Find out which trio of stocks saw some heavy options activity during today's session.
  • All eyes were on the Fed this week, but here's a few things you might have missed.
  • Plus ... third-quarter gross domestic product grew more than previously estimated, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) surged despite dismal earnings, and Yahoo! Inc.'s (NASDAQ:YHOO) new high failed to impress option bears.
Trading Topic of the Week -- Trading Low-Priced Options: DO trade stocks with a favorable sentiment backdrop. At Schaeffer's, we use sentiment analysis to determine whether a stock's current trend is likely to continue. To maximize returns, we focus our efforts on outperforming stocks surrounded by skepticism, and lagging equities that continue to attract bullish attention.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,221.14) trekked higher right out of the gate, and touched an all-time intraday peak of 16,287.84 during the afternoon hours of trading. By the end of the session, the Dow was up 42.1 points, or 0.3% -- notching yet another record closing high. For the week, the index climbed 3%. The blue-chip barometer's 18 advancers were led by Caterpillar Inc.'s (NYSE:CAT) gain of 1.6%, while Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) paced the 12 laggards with a drop of 1.5%.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,818.31) also spent the day in positive territory, tagging a record intraday peak of 1,823.75 around 2:30 p.m. ET. By the time the dust settled, the index was 8.7 points, or 0.5%, higher -- marking an all-time closing high. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,104.74) reached a 13-year intraday peak of 4,111.93, and advanced 46.6 points, or 1.2%, on the day. On a weekly basis, the SPX and COMP added 2.4% and 2.6%, respectively.

Elsewhere, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 13.79) stayed south of breakeven for the entire day, and closed 0.4 point, or 2.5%, lower. Week-over-week, the "fear gauge" shed 12.5%.

CLOSING SUMMARY  INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY  NYSE AND NASDAQ

A Trader's Take:

"We had another day of upbeat economic data," Detrick noted. "This time it was the third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) report. Remember when strong data was viewed bearishly? Now that the Fed has officially decided to start tapering, maybe we can get to a more normal world, where good data is actually good. We've been saying all year here at Schaeffer's that the economy is on stronger footing than most give it credit for, and the market looked great. Now the economic data is starting to justify that position."

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. The Commerce Department said gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 4.1% in the third quarter -- up from an initial estimate of 3.6%, and marking the fastest pace of growth in two years. The latest figure was largely driven by a 2% rise in consumer spending, versus a preliminary reading of 1.4%. (MarketWatch)
  2. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) reported a third-quarter loss of $4.4 billion, or $8.37 per share, versus a profit of $9 million, or 2 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding items, the loss arrived at 67 cents per share. Meanwhile, revenue declined by over 56% to $1.2 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting a per-share loss of 44 cents on sales of $1.6 billion. However, the shares soared today on news of a five-year partnership with Foxconn Technology Co Ltd. (Reuters)
  3. Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) received a vote of confidence from D.A. Davidson, following last night's quarterly earnings report.
  4. Longer-term bulls bet on Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) to retake a key level, despite the firm's reduced 2014 guidance.
  5. Yahoo! Inc.'s (NASDAQ:YHOO) new multi-year high didn't deter put buyers from targeting the Internet stock in the options pits.
EARNINGS

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

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